I would like to campaign for you to enter into fall soup season with this cozy classic Broccoli Cheese Soup. It is a hug-in-a-bowl that is not only *easy to make* but honestly puts Panera’s version to shame. Ooooh yes, I said it! Listen, I truly love Panera, but side-by-side with this comforting pot of creaminess gently bubbling away on the stove, with the FRESH broccoli and carrots, and the glorious cheddar cheese that you ate straight off the cutting board shredded by hand, there is no comparing.
Stay tuned until the very end of these stories for a very special taste test with Bjork!
Broccoli Cheese Soup Necessities
Broccoli cheese soup, in case you needed reminding, is going to bring several good things into your life: a delicate start of butter and garlic and onions, a silky-smooth soup base, little bite-sized bits of just-right broccoli, thinly sliced carrots, and a sharp, creamy finish from that cheddar cheese. It’s flavorful, it’s veg-loaded and fresh, but it’s also extremely comforting, unassuming, and mellow. And I think we could all use a little more mellow right about now, yes?
There’s salt, there’s pepper, and there’s paprika to season, but hello VERY IMPORTANT there’s also hot crusty bread for dipping.
If this soup isn’t the dictionary definition of fall cozy…
Well, there’s not even anything to say because it is. It just really is.
You should be able to use all milk or all half and half rather than 1 cup of each if you only have one of the two. Averie’s recipe suggests fat free half and half as the creamy thickener, and I know several people who swear by that for other soups as well, but that’s not an ingredient I usually keep in my fridge. I wanted to make a version with what I almost always have in my fridge (which is whole milk, and half and half) and it worked beautifully!
Does this work with frozen broccoli?
Yes! If you’d like to wait a bit to put the frozen broccoli in (maybe five minutes after the carrots), that might make things a little less mushy.
Can you freeze this soup?
We froze a batch and reheated in both the microwave and on the stovetop. Both reheating methods work well! Just give the soup a good stir before serving.
How can I make this vegan?
We’ve got a recipe for that! Made with almond milk, lots of veggies, nutritional yeast, and some eat-straight-off-the-pan croutons. Check it out here!
This recipe was inspired by some intense Google searching to find the very best method of making broccoli cheese soup – and the Averie Cooks recipe was the clear winner of the internet, so that is what largely inspired this recipe! The only changes I made were using two different types of full-fat dairy because that’s what I normally keep stocked, and a slight tweak of the seasoning.
This Broccoli Cheese Soup is easy, creamy, and a perfect cozy classic. A silky-smooth soup base, little bites of just-right broccoli and carrots, and some sharp creamy cheddar cheese to finish it off.
5 tablespoonsbutter, divided
1 small onion, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cupbroccoli stems, chopped (optional)
1/4 cupall-purpose flour
1 cupwhole milk
1 cuphalf and half
2 1/2 cupschicken or vegetable broth
2–3 cups broccoli florets, chopped into very small pieces
1 large carrot, thinly sliced
1 teaspoonsalt (more or less to taste)
1/2 teaspoonfreshly ground black pepper
an 8-ounce block of good quality extra-sharp cheddar cheese, grated
Sauté garlic and onion: In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and broccoli stems; sauté until soft and fragrant, about 5 minutes.
Build your roux: Add remaining 4 tablespoons butter to the soup pot. When butter is melted, add flour to the pot. Cook over medium heat for about 2-3 minutes, until flour is thickened. Slowly pour in the milk and half and half, whisking constantly. (It will start thick but eventually it will thin out and resemble a creamy soup base.) Continue to thin it out, gradually whisking in the broth. Simmer for 10 minutes or so, whisking occasionally to reincorporate the skin that may form.
Add broccoli: When the soup base is thickened nicely, stir in the broccoli, carrots, and spices. Simmer for 10 minutes or so, until the broccoli bits are bright green and fork-tender.
Add cheese: Transfer the pot off of heat and allow to cool slightly for a few minutes. Stir in most of the cheese until melted. Serve in bowls with a little extra cheese + a hunk of crusty bread for dunking – and yes, it’s okay to cry tears of cozy joy! This is a happy moment!